Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Competition for Small Business Offered Again

In its 7th Year, Wyoming's Cybersecurity Competition for Small Business Offered Again

LARAMIE – On February 1, the 2024 Wyoming Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses begins its seventh annual year with companies from diverse sectors such as massage therapy, healthcare, legal, accounting, professional services, banking, and construction historically benefitting from this free program.

Last year’s winners, who spoke at Cyber Cheyenne, included a small manufacturer, a construction company, and a home-based massage therapy company. All streamlined security process improvements into their business operations to support their mission statement and growth goals.

“When I think about all of the places the competition seeped into…it helped us personally with our own awareness and personal practices.  Then with the business, with hiring, firing, getting organized with HR, the cloud systems, and every piece of the business was affected because we got our cybersecurity policies and procedures squared away,” said Drew M of Jackson Hole Mobile Massage.

According to the VA OSDBU (Veteran Affairs, Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization), 70% of small businesses are owned and operated by a single person and those small businesses employ 57% of the country’s private workforce, but in Wyoming these statistics are even higher.

The Competition caters to this underserved group of small businesses.  It is one-on-one, on-the-job, human-focused security training right sized for micro businesses, those with no IT help.  Time commitment for participants is about 4-6 hours per month for 7 months between February and August.

“In the last couple of years, we have seen an increase in sole proprietors and home-based businesses, so we have created tools and templates specifically for this group, cutting out all the extras that they don’t need or use,” said Laura Baker, Executive Director of CyberWyoming. 

Winners speak at a prominent statewide conference, and every participant sleeps better at night.

January 21-27 is National Data Privacy Week! National Data Privacy Week’s theme this year is Take Control of Your Data and focuses on small business management of customer data and intellectual property, which is fully covered in Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses.

ABOUT THE COMPETITION

The 2024 Competition is made possible by our members and sponsors: Campbell County Health, Capitol Communications, Casper College, CPU IT, DigeTekS, EvnTec, Factory IT, First Federal Bank & Trust, Gannett Peak Technical Services, HUB International, IECA of Casper, K2 Technologies, Language I/O, Manufacturing Works of Wyoming, the National Cybersecurity Society, PDS Manage, Rocky Mountain Cybersecurity, Sweetwater Technology Services, TEAM, and a grant from the Gula Tech Foundation.

For more information about the 2024 Wyoming Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses visit https://www.cyberwyoming.org/competition.

The competition was developed by CyberWyoming in 2018 to encourage Wyoming small businesses to meet best practices in cybersecurity through a home-grown program called Made Safe in Wyoming™.  The competition has gained national and international attention being the only of its kind and in February of 2022, winning a Gula Tech Foundation Award to expand its program in 2023.

About CyberWyoming: Founded in 2017, CyberWyoming, a 501(c)6 nonprofit, promotes the cybersecurity welfare and prosperity of the Wyoming business community including hands-on, high-touch education of small business stakeholders and technical registered apprenticeship.

About Data Privacy Week: Data Privacy Week, originated in 2008 as Data Privacy Day in the U.S. and Canada, is an extension of Europe’s Data Protection Day celebration. It marks the signing of Convention 108 on Jan. 28, 1981, the inaugural international treaty on privacy and data protection. Annually, NCA, a nonprofit championing cybersecurity and privacy education, spearheads the initiative in North America. For more information, visit https://staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-week/.

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